COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – An array of new medical marijuana dispensaries could open their doors in Ohio — including 25 in Southwest Ohio.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy issued 70 provisional licenses to hopeful medical marijuana dispensaries on May 16 in order to accommodate a growing number of patients and demand for the drug, according to the board’s policy and public affairs liaison Kylynne Johnson.

“There’s been long lines, difficulty to get the products in, sometimes a long distance between their homes and a product,” Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) said. “So yes, I really do think there’s a need.”

About 142,000 Ohioans have an active medical marijuana registration – an increase of nearly 4,000 in registrations since March – with 56 dispensaries operating throughout the state, according to monthly reports from the Board of Pharmacy. If the 70 provisional licensees are officially approved, Ohio would be home to 126 dispensaries. Since the medical marijuana program’s inception in 2016, physicians have issued a total of 487,571 recommendations to their patients, according to the board.

Provisional licensees have up to 270 days to open a medical marijuana dispensary that abides by the state pharmacy board’s rules and regulations, Johnson said.

“A provisional dispensary license is kind of that go-ahead — go ahead and construct the space,” Johnson said. “Once they receive approval and a certificate of operation, they’ll be able to open their doors.”

To receive a provisional license, Johnson said aspiring dispensary owners whose applications are approved by the board are entered into a random drawing conducted by the Ohio Lottery Commission.

In this round of awarding provisional licenses, 1,465 applicants were entered into the lottery. Whether an applicant is entered into the lottery, Johnson said, depends on a few factors, including whether the proposed location is within 500 feet of a prohibited facility; and whether the company has demonstrated its financial ability to afford a dispensary.

Provisional licenses were awarded to the following companies that want to set up shop in Southwest Ohio:

  • Aron OH LLC, 4029 Smith Road in Cincinnati
  • Heritage Wellness Ohio LLC, 3942-3944 Edwards Road in Cincinnati
  • Nectar Markets of Ohio LLC, 3405 Werk Road in Cincinnati
  • Ohio Patient Access LLC, 830 Reedy Street in Cincinnati
  • Canoe Hill Ohio LLC, 3950 Edwards Road in Cincinnati
  • Noosa Ohio LLC, Parcel number 0248-0002-0051 in Cincinnati
  • Campbell Hill Ventures LLC, 693 Old State Route 74 in Cincinnati
  • The Forest Acquisition LLC, Parcel ID 413213E044 in Cincinnati
  • OTC Ohio LLC, 3137-3145 Salem Ave in Dayton
  • GRD Ohio LLC, 3620 Germantown Street in Dayton
  • Guaranteed Investments OH LLC, 1910 Wayne Ave in Dayton
  • Canoe Hill Ohio LLC, 10140 Suspension Bridge Road in Harrison
  • Big Perm’s Dispensary Ohio LLC, 1100 McArthur Road Northwest, Suite 1212 in Jeffersonville
  • Heaven Wellness LLC, 315 Rivers Edge Drive in Milford
  • Cascade Southern Ohio LLC, 401 Rivers Edge Drive in Milford
  • Shangri-La Dispensary Ohio LLC, Butler County Parcel ID# C1800009220028 in Monroe
  • Deaver Child LLC, 1312 SR-63 in Monroe
  • Shangri-La Dispensary Ohio LLC, Parcel ID 11052010022 in Monroe
  • Cascade Southern Ohio LLC, 101 Mercy Boulevard in Mount Orab
  • Canoe Hill LLC, 3764 Montgomery Road in Norwood
  • RJK Holdings of Ohio LLC, 5290 College Corner Pike in Oxford
  • LMTT LLC, 3616-3620 Southpointe Parkway in Oxford
  • The Green Goat Dispensary LLC, 8866 CR 25A in Piqua
  • Ohio Patient Access LLC, 1206 Recker Road in Piqua
  • Daily Releaf LLC, 4918 Airway Road in Riverside

Huffman, a sponsor of the 2016 bill that legalized medical marijuana in Ohio, said allowing more dispensaries to set up shop in Ohio will drive down the price of cannabis. Other factors that could impact the drug in-state include an attempt at a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana with a statewide vote. That has been sidelined at least for the 2022 election cycle, but could be considered again in 2023.

Greater competition among dispensaries — and the additional supply that will come to Ohio — will likely spur drug costs to decrease, Huffman said.

“This is going to make the industry more accessible, a better price, better consumer-focused because there will be closer ones and there will be more competition.”

Huffman is also sponsoring Senate Bill 261 to streamline the process for businesses vying for a medical marijuana license, and permit physicians to prescribe the drug where they “reasonably” believe it will help a patient. SB 216 would open the door for more medical conditions to be eligible for treatment with marijuana, he said, and the issuance of additional provisional licenses will allow more Ohioans to seek care.

“It gives them the opportunity to try and see what type of medical marijuana would be best for their personal medical problem,” he said.